Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sharing the Beauty [a blog hop]

Before Rebekah contacted me last week asking if I wanted to be a part of a blog hop, I had never even heard of one (yes, I am a terrible networker when it comes to blogging). But, even though I just met her a few months ago (and we've never met in real life) I already know that she's full of grace and kindly willing to explain things. So she 'splained and I agreed (I did not know she was going to expand on the bio I sent and call me "a beautiful, authentic spirit" - blush - but that's just the sweet sort of person that she is).

So it seems that at times this wonderful online community will get together to answer a few questions in common with each other, and spread some love about other bloggers. Sharing the beauty - what's not to love about that? I'm glad that Rebekah invited me to join in - you should definitely check out Three Bees in a Blue Bonnet for thoughtful posts on finding joy and grace in life's deserts (also, she just kicked off a new Tuesday series on "Grace Notes" with Bach's cello suite in G major, so that's well worth a listen!)

[What am I writing/working on?]

Hmm. I'm working on rediscovering my sense of adventure, seeking community, and trying to maintain an apartment in a relative semblance of order... since that's what occupies most of my thoughts, that's also what occupies most of my writing. Also, chronicles of Brooklyn's shenanigans (she's already found her sense of adventure, and enjoys exercising it).

[How does my work differ from others of its genre?]

Well, I'm not really sure that I have a "genre" (if I do, someone please tell me what it is!) I originally started this blog writing about knitting projects, and then it expanded into chronicling a knitting-related internship, and I did Project 365 (take a photo a day for a year), and by that point it was just fun to write and post pictures so I kept doing it more regularly. Every person is unique, and their life experiences and worldview shape the way they see and the way they write about it - so I suppose my work differs from that of others simply because I write it and they don't. I'm a little less structured than many (for a concrete example) --- while there are a few days that have set topics (gratitude on Thursdays, and I usually play along with Five Minute Friday) there's really no telling what adventure I'll share or soapbox I'll stand on in any given post.

[Why do I write what I do?]

I write what I do because there are too many posts that make mountains out of molehills, and I want to erase the tension by erasing the silly lines we've drawn. I write what I do because there are things that we take for granted without even realizing it, and I want to open my own eyes (and those of my readers) to the aching need of the world we live in. I write what I do because there are those who cannot write or speak for themselves, but they still have stories that must be told. I write what I do because there is so much ugliness, hatred, and negativity battering us from all sides at all times, and I want to bring out the beautiful and focus on that instead. And I write what I do because there are (conversely) too many staged shots of perfect lives that don't exist, and a little honesty and vulnerability go a long way toward encouragement and solidarity. (Ahem. That came out a bit more manifesto-ish than I intended it to...)

[How does my writing process work?]

Every which way. The words come more easily if I'm looking at a picture while I write them (which is why my posts tend to be photo-heavy) so I usually start with that. I find that, even without intending to, the pictures I take and the Things I've Been Thinking About tend to align in themes, which makes the writing easier. But sometimes I can get on a mental trail that leads to an empty ampitheatre, by way of several epiphany moments, and I find myself bursting with words and thoughts that must be got out somehow and then I just write. It all depends.


But - enough about me! Let me introduce you to some blogging friends of mine (who I'm also privileged to know in person), who will be answering some questions about their own writing next week:

Kayla supports her husband (the pilot) on the home front and attempts to keep up with their 2 year old (the bundle of energy) while learning what “homemaking” is all about. She enjoys laughing, reading, memorizing Scripture, and blogging the details of their journey at Renown and Crowned.
Kayla and I are friends from our homeschooling days, sharing June birthdays and the mutual ability to enjoy spending time with someone who is both similar to and different from yourself. While we live in different states now, I love keeping up with her through her blog - and I think you'll enjoy her insights and ponderings (and energetic two year old) as well.

I’m Lisa Kieklak, a native of Fayetteville, Arkansas. I’m married to an amazing man named Steve who is a full-time student at Southern Seminary, and we’ve just moved to Louisville.I work at a tshirt quilt company, and Steve works at Starbucks. Not counting our German Shepherd, Nike, we don’t have any kids yet, but we’re looking forward to that adventure when it comes.
Steve & I really enjoy spending time outside (hiking, camping, biking), watching Psych, and just being ridiculous when we’re together. We’ve been known on more than one occasion to set up our tent in the living room and go “camping” for a night or two!

I know Lisa through the church we both attended in Fayetteville. She posts gluten-free recipes and reviews, inspiring sewing projects (she slipcovered their couch, y'all - except, it doesn't look slipcovered. It just look like a couch), and reading challenges that always seem to be books I already love or have been wanting to read - among other things.

I’m Cara Kramp, a former Arkansan currently residing in Louisville, Kentucky. I’m married to the stud on the right, Matt. We have an adorable Cocker Spaniel named Jasmine. No kids yet, but (Lord willing) there will be some in the future!Matt is a full-time M.Div. student at Southern Seminary as well as a full-time phone technician for Sprint. I’m a full-time receptionist at Underwood & Lee, which is a dental clinic for people with intellectual disabilities. Matt & I enjoy playing disc golf, reading Harry Potter together in British accents, watching Parks & Recreation, and cheering on the Razorbacks. Woo Pig Sooie!!!

Cara I also know through our church in Fayetteville. She's a sweet heart with an artist's eye, and posts fun art projects, updates on their house-to-home renovations, and recipes (mostly desserts ;) - among other things.

Together, Lisa and Cara write The Helpmates, the journey of two young wives encouraging each other (and others). Besides the topics I've mentioned, they sometimes post challenges (make a wreath using only things you already have, a daily photo gratitude project on Instagram...) and have guest posters who cover the topics that they have less experience in (but still need to be written about!)

There you have it! A bit about me, and some blogs that you may want to check out - they'll be carrying on the blog hop next week, so be sure to watch for those posts, as well!

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